Morning Buzz: Monday 2.24.14

Curated news, notes and observations most weekdays from LA Observed.

Politics and government

The LA Times editorial board called for sticking property owners with the bill for future sidewalk repairs and upkeep, apparently mostly because the city has proven it won't. LAT editorial

Councilman Bernard C. Parks wants the city to explore allowing landlords to pass along to tenants 100% of the cost of earthquake retrofits. LAT

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said the Senate Democratic Caucus agreed Friday to ask Sen. Ronald Calderon to resign or take a leave of absence, and if he refuses, the Senate would move to suspend him pending the outcome of his criminal case. LAT

After years of study, a project to bring WiFi and cellular service to the LA subway system is now underway. ZevWeb

Beverly Hills is using petty bureaucratic tactics to hold up construction on the Purple Line extension and its feet dragging could lengthen an already long construction schedule. Curbed LA

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will headline a group of experts delving into hyper-partisanship and the solutions to end it at a conference today hosted by the University of Southern California Schwarzenegger Institute. A study will say the California legislature has become less partisan and more moderate since two key electoral reforms were instituted prior to the 2012 election cycle. SF Chronicle opinion

Rick Orlov's Monday Tipoff column: Berman-Sherman, Schwarzenegger, Durazo, Koretz. DN

Former mayor Richard Riordan and his writing partner Tim Rutten argue that teacher tenure comes at the expense of children’s education. DN Op-ed

City Council gadflies Matt Dowd and David "Zuma Dogg" Saltsburg each received $1 in token damages for being kicked out of council meetings. LAT


Media and books

Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast an undisclosed amount to ensure Netflix movies and television shows stream smoothly to Comcast customers. The landmark deal could set a precedent for Netflix's dealings with other broadband providers and "is a milestone in the history of the Internet." And not in the good way, likely. WSJ, NYT

Piers Morgan is losing his show on CNN, probably in March. "It’s been an unhappy collision between a British television personality who refuses to assimilate — the only football he cares about is round and his lectures on guns were rife with contempt — and a CNN audience that is intrinsically provincial," says David Carr. NYT

Alec Baldwin rants at length and then says, "This is the last time I’m going to talk about my personal life in an American publication ever again." Also this: "Am I bitter about some of the things that have happened to me in the past year? Yes, I’m a human being. I always had big ambitions. I had dreams of running for office at some point in the next five years." Vulture

KCET has scheduled "Studio A," its original music series "showcasing Southern California’s top musical talent," to premiere March 4 at 10 p.m. and repeat Fridays at 10 p.m. KCSN-FM will simulcast the series Friday nights at 10 p.m.

The Deseret News in Salt Lake City and The Atlantic magazine are collaborating on a four-part series about fatherhood and American family life that is running jointly. NYT

Former LA Times reporter David Cay Johnston posts on Facebook that Bill Thomas, who died yesterday, "on the whole...was a great editor, especially his reverence for the writer's every word," but also protected the elites too often:

His only real flaw was a close identification with the powerful, shown when he pledged to the CIA to suppress the Glomar Explorer Soviet sub recovery story (it got in anyway) and his eagerness to protect some local business leaders and LAPD Chief Gates from accurate reporting on their mistakes and misconduct.

After I proved that Gates (a frequent golfing partner of Bill though I did not not know it then) assigned officers to sleep with women to gather political information and to instigate violent acts, I was about to report Gates had undercover officers overseas. Thomas shut me down and the paper soon ran the LAPD cover story shifting the spying scandal focus to a sergeant. (Gates, in his autobiography, confirmed he had undercover cops in Moscow & Havana.)

Tom Nuttall, the Economist correspondent in Los Angeles, announced he will move to Brussels in six months to write the magazine's Charlemagne column. Twitter

In 2013, The New York Review of Books published 212 male book reviewers and 52 female. NYT

Amtrak is using the travel industry's time-tested tactic -- free junkets -- to inspire writers to write good things about rail travel. In the social media era it comes with the added free PR boost of retweets and Facebook posts about how "awesome" it is. The Wire

moviefone-kramer.jpgMoviefone told callers over the weekend that the automated service at 777-FILM would soon go silent, to survive only as an app. Russ Leatherman, a founder who provided the famous greeting, left the company last November. NYT

The U.S. Department of Justice Friday released new rules for how it will try to obtain records from journalists in the future. NYT

Buzzfeed gets "13 Dishes That Aren't Actually Mexican" listicle laughably, stupidly wrong. OC Weekly

"Life After Pi” is a 30-minute documentary filmed at the former El Segundo headquarters Rhythm & Hues during the weeks after the visual effects company declared bankruptcy. LAT

Journalist Scott Timberg has a new arts and culture blog at Arts Journal pegged to his forthcoming book, "Creative Destruction: How the 21st Century is Killing the Creative Class, and Why It Matters." Culture Crash

Freelance reporter Hillel Aron joins the fulltime staff of the LA Weekly next month.

LAT.com engagement editor Martin Beck is leaving to cover social media for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. Ed Padgett


Courts and cops

People around MacArthur Park expect that Sinaloa carter boss Joaquin Guzman Loera will somehow break out of jail in Mexico. Michael Krikorian

Two former Los Angeles International Airport workers who police said planted dry ice bombs on the airfield last year pleaded no contest to one felony charge Friday and were each sentenced to 480 hours of community service. Daily Breeze


More news, notes and observations

A small number of children in California have come down with polio-like illnesses since 2012 -- suffering paralysis in one or more limbs and other symptoms -- and physicians and public health officials do not yet know why. LAT

Video is posted from last week's conference at the Central Library, Tales From Two Cities: Writing From California - LA

L.A.'s Clifton's Cafeteria served Utopian fantasy with a side of enchiladas. Collector's Weekly

An innovative partnership between Occidental College and two local historical societies will celebrate the successful launch "of a project to preserve something that is black and white and eventually will be read all over." Oxy.edu

Chapman University launches its new permanent Huell Howser exhibit with a public open house on Saturday, March 29.

The Butterfly Pavilion returns for its 16th year at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County on April 13.

Alice Herz-Sommer, thought to be the oldest survivor of the Holocaust and the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary, died Sunday at a London hospital. She was 110. LAT

Tweet of the day

More by Kevin Roderick:
Harold Ramis, writer and director of comedy was 69
Morning Buzz: Monday 2.24.14
Red Cars waiting to be crushed
William F. Thomas, editor of the LA Times at its peak was 89
Kings and Ducks won gold in Sochi
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Morning Buzz: Monday 2.24.14
Morning Buzz at night: Friday 2.21.14
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.19.14
Morning Buzz and holiday catch up: Tuesday 2.18.14
Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.13.14

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